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Special Message

February 20, 1832

To the Senate:

I nominate Charles Ellery to be a lieutenant in the Navy of the United States, to take rank as if appointed the 29th of April, 1826.

In explanation of the above nomination the President submits to the Senate the following facts:

Charles Ellery was originally appointed a lieutenant in the Navy the 13th of January, 1825, and was dismissed from the service the 24th of November, 1830. The dismissal was in pursuance of the sentence of the same court-martial which tried Master Commandant Clack in September, 1830; but it is thought no technical objections to the legality of the proceedings can be found so well sustained as they were in the case of Master Commandant Clack before the Senate at their last session, and it is supposed that Lieutenant Ellery has no claim for restoration to his former rank except on the ground of great severity in the sentence, founded on unfavorable impressions as to his conduct, which his prior and subsequent behavior, as manifested in the documents hereto annexed, prove to have been in some degree erroneous. The charges were intemperance and sleeping on his post. His departures from strict temperance were only in a few instances, and seem to have arisen from domestic calamity and never to have grown into a habit; and the only instance testified to in support of the other charge seems now at least doubtful, and if sustained at all to be imputable to the same cause.

Under these views of the case, which a charitable consideration of the proceedings and of his character as fully developed in the annexed documents appears fully to justify, his punishment ought, in my opinion, to be mitigated. He is therefore nominated so as to restore him to the service, with loss of pay and rank for about the time elapsed since his last dismission.

The proceedings of the court-martial and the testimonials referred to are inclosed, numbered from 1 to 10.


Andrew Jackson, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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